Research suggests that around half the people with sleep apnea also experience ED. It is more common in older adults and people with a higher body mass.
Other research suggests that this number may be even higher. For example, one study of 401 participants found that 92% had sleep apnea, and 69% of these people also had ED.
The link between the two may relate to testosterone levels. People with sleep apnea tend to have lower levels of testosterone, which is an essential hormone in relation to sexual activity. Read more here.
What’s more anxiety and poor breathing patterns are precursors to sleep apnea and as outlined above have been linked to sufferers of erectile dysfunction. Mouth breathing and hard breathing increase the risk of sleep disordered breathing including sleep apnea that in turn increases the risk of Erectile Dysfunction.
Anxiety and dysfunctional breathing (mouth breathing and upper thorax breathing) are two common factors in Erectile Dysfunction and they in turn are directly related. Poor breathing patterns are common in sufferers of anxiety and anxiety sufferers tend to have poor breathing patterns.
Mouth breathing compromises breathing in many ways. It is certainly a trigger for breathing pattern disorders (BPD) and dysfunctional breathing, taking in too much air, breathing rate/frequency, expiring too much CO2 and the advantage of the sinuses production of Nitric Oxide is lost and as a result the chemistry gas exchanges including oxygen and carbon dioxide further down the line in the lungs, brain, heart and other organs and muscles can be compromised.
Low carbon dioxide levels are known to trigger vasoconstriction – that is, contraction of smooth muscle. Smooth muscle is found in the airways, the gut and blood vessels. And lastly, low carbon dioxide levels impact oxygen distribution. Red blood cells that carry oxygen molecules are less likely to let go of the oxygen they are carrying when carbon dioxide levels are low (called the Bohr Effect). The end result is that less oxygen goes to the target tissues (muscles including those located in the penis, brain and gut) leading to symptoms including pain, poor cognitive functions, digestive upset and ultimately anxiety and an ultimately an imbalance in the body’s Autonomic Nervous System.
Improving breathing patterns can help reduce sleep apnea symptoms and assist with reduced fatigue, stress, support testosterone levels, bodily functions and general physical and mental health.
Mouth breathing increasing sleep apnea – read here.
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